Although Beyonce’s movie isn’t expected to reach Swift’s box office numbers, it will provide further clues on whether releasing directly through theater chains is a viable new distribution model for concert films.”
With Five Nights at Freddy’s closing in on $300 million at the global box office, the video game-turned-movie hit spotlights the financial power of fear. Horror movies in general, especially those produced by Jason Blum (the horror brand behind M3GAN and Paranormal Activity), represent one of the industry’s most reliable bets. Fans of the genre tend to be young and watch in groups, which leads them to prefer theaters over viewing at home. Horror movies can be made inexpensively because they don’t require highly paid stars or expensive special effects. “It’s really just: ‘Is the idea scary enough?’” Pichirallo said.
Streaming was a major factor in the strikes and it will continue to disrupt the TV and film industry. Pichirallo explained that the old models of distribution offered multiple revenue streams, with a feature film going from theaters to DVD, then on-demand and premium cable, then cable TV. But when a producer sells an original movie or series to Netflix or Amazon Prime or another streaming service, it’s one and done, Pichirallo said. In addition, the streaming platforms led the way in ordering fewer episodes for individual shows, which meant less work for writers. So while the strikes resulted in increased pay for writers, it is an open question as to whether the new WGA contract will result in substantially more work for writers.
Technology is playing a bigger role than ever. The writers’ and actors’ unions gained ground on the use of AI in scripts and production by getting the studios and streaming companies to agree to restrictions on how artificial intelligence is used in the creative process to prevent it from replacing actors and writers. Meanwhile, virtual production technology (as seen in The Mandalorian, House of the Dragon, and Barbie, among many others) is enhancing filmmaking by employing computers and game engines that allow filmmakers to combine live action with computer-generated imagery. These new techniques provide visuals of special effects in real time, which will reduce post-production fixes. These high-tech soundstages have the potential for creating a more sustainable industry by cutting travel and trash from location shooting.